I moved to the United States from Nicaragua when I was 7-years old. I grew up between two cultures and have been enriched by both, which has shaped the way I view the world. My family has always supported me and pushed me to reach my goals, and I was the first in my immediate family to receive a bachelor’s and master’s degree.
I have always been a dreamer and I believe that you never stop learning. I have a passion for connecting people and organizations and creating opportunities to make positive change.
In my current role as an Assistant Director of Executive Education and Professional Development at the College of Health Solutions at ASU, I am able to help individuals and organizations improve on what they already do so well. For me, it is critical to have a strong board of directors in any organization and that it represents the community it serves. As a member of the Phoenix community and a patient of Mountain Park I fit both groups.
My wife Nikki and I enjoy experiencing life through the eyes of our “twin-kies,” Ava and Lucas, who keep us busy and on our toes. It takes a village to raise a child and I am thankful to have an entire support system to help shape our children’s lives. My days with my family are filled with adventures. I love exploring, even if it’s my own backyard, and take advantage of every opportunity that comes my way with grace and a grateful heart.
With all the difficulties in the world, I’m constantly reminded that as a human race, we’re making such great strides that serve the greater good. From medicine and technology to awareness and interconnectedness, we as humans are making progress and that is something I try to focus on every day.
As an educator with more than 20 years’ experience, I have been able to teach children and help mold them into respectful, inclusive people. I feel empowered every day to be a part of Mountain Park and be able to share critical resources with our patients. My life centers on serving children. As a single dad of five, a teacher and mentor to thousands, I try to bring a perspective that focuses on how wellness impacts a child’s ability to reach their highest potential.
When I’m not teaching, or chasing grandkids, I enjoy reading. I’m particularly drawn to historical fiction and true crime. I also paint watercolor postcards, on which I write notes and send to family and friends.
As a Tempe community member I’ve been involved in a number of organizations close to my heart, including the Tempe Community Foundation, Tempe Neighbors Helping Tempe Neighbors, Arizona State University and others. Representing Mountain Park on our Board of Directors has been incredibly rewarding for me. A big part of that is their mission of serving everyone who has unmet healthcare needs. More importantly I love the creativity and energy of the organization, specifically their focus on making life better overall for everyone we serve. The Care Team model, Medical Legal Partnership, public art and play areas and inviting waiting spaces all exemplify what a caring and unique organization Mountain Park is.
My children and grandchildren all live near me and they are a very important part of my husband Chuck and I’s life. We have a passion for Mexico and like to spend a few weeks there each year with a family we’ve become very close with. I have a deep interest in Latino countries and their cultures. I also am an avid runner and hiker, and I enjoy reading and attending cultural events with my friends and family.
I bring a background of healthcare policy and analysis to the board and have a deep understanding of programs that meet low-income healthcare needs. My absolute favorite accomplishment at Mountain Park is the opening of our new Tempe Clinic. I drive by it nearly every day and always feel a sense of happiness and pride when I see how beautiful it is and how well it serves our community.
As a Somali immigrant, I came to the U.S. as a young child. When people look at me, they see a woman and a person of color, but they don’t realize that my mother’s family has roots in New England, and Europe before that. They don’t know that I am multiracial. They see what they want to see. My family is a fascinating blend of seemingly divergent cultures, yet, I continuously come to the conclusion that we have so much more in common than not. That is who I am and serving on the Mountain Park board is dear to my heart because the organization and people who work here have such a passion for our community.
Working in public health is something I have done most of my career, both here and abroad. I currently work for a local nonprofit where I focus on advocating for increasing children’s healthcare coverage. This and the fact that I was an immigrant makes me believe that I can share my perspective on the board.
When I am not working, I spend a lot of time with my family. I have a wonderful husband and four amazing children, three boys and a girl. We also have a little kitty. We love to travel and try to visit all our family that is spread around the world, from Yemen to the United Kingdom. I also try to grow organic vegetables (unsuccessfully), love listening to my nerdcasts and patiently awaiting another season of Game of Thrones.
Serving our communities is a way for me to stay in touch and make a positive difference. Growing up in a low-income household, my parents really had to know where to cut corners. Oftentimes, we had to go without and getting sick was not an option. I remember as a child that going to the doctor always seemed to put a financial strain on my family, even with well-check visits.
Being a part of Mountain Park Health Center, and working to make healthcare attainable to all hits home for me. I have worked in healthcare for more than 30 years, 13 of those working in hospitals and the last 18 in hospice and palliative care.
I am a father of two teenage daughters and am married to a spectacular woman. We have a rescue dog and two rescue cats. When I’m not working, I enjoy watching my daughters compete in soccer and cheerleading. I also love football, bodybuilding, cooking, gardening, mountain biking and of course hiking.
I am a daughter of Lebanese immigrants and am a student at Arizona State University. I speak Arabic, Spanish and English and am able to connect with people on a deeper level because of my ability to be multilingual. I love being able to give back to my community, especially the people who are like family here at Mountain Park.
Seeing the world is important to me and something I enjoy doing when not in school. I have been fortunate enough to have opportunities to travel and would love to continue seeing as much of the world as I can. I also enjoy exploring Arizona—going on early morning hikes—and spending time with my family and friends. Most of my extended family lives overseas in Lebanon. Because family is extremely important to me, I try to spend as much time with them as I can.
I have worked in law enforcement for more than two decades. As the commander of the Phoenix Police Department’s Strategic Information Bureau, I am responsible for running the Crime Analysis and Research Unit, Records Management System, Digital Forensics Unit, Forensic Imaging Unit and Data Integrity Unit. As a board member, I bring a unique perspective when addressing certain issues within the communities Mountain Park serves.
I am married and we have five children, three of which are grown. I also have a Rottweiler, Canaan who is always happy to see me when I get home. One of my greatest passions is music because it’s a way for me to relax. I currently play the guitar in a funk band called “Stone Cold Funk.”
I believe every person should have access to healthcare. Growing up, my family did not have healthcare, and I saw firsthand the stress and challenges it brought to my family. As an assistant principal at Academia del Pueblo, I now get to witness how this affects my students and the entire community. Being able to represent that voice is important to me as we continue to ensure access to healthcare for all.
My aunt is a patient at our Maryvale Clinic. Had it not been for the services they offer her, she would not be healthy today. Nor would she ensure that her and her grandchildren were making healthy lifestyle decisions. Being a part of the Mountain Park board is personal for me because it directly impacts my family, my neighbors and my students.
I am originally from California, and am grateful to have learned about the melting pot of cultures here in Phoenix. During our free time my wife Eva and I enjoy spending time with our friends, finding new ways to give back to the community, and doing what we can to create equity for the diverse group that calls Arizona home.
Serving on the Board of Directors for Mountain Park Health Center is very important to me. As an Emergency Department Physician Assistant, I have seen too many patients come to the ER who could have avoided being there. Unfortunately, their lack of access to care leaves them no other choice. This is a problem that I would like to help fix. By focusing on preventing illness and providing access to quality healthcare for all, Mountain Park has been a leader in helping patients avoid unnecessary ER visits.
I believe that Mountain Park is a dynamic organization that is way ahead of the game as a leader in community healthcare. Representing my community as a board member means a lot of things to me. Primarily, it allows me to be an instrument of change while working with other board members and Mountain Park leaders who embody innovation and leadership. Our board is a working board – we don’t just give our stamp of approval. We actually get in there and do work with the organization. I also love having my PA students get involved in activities like Mountain Park’s annual race and patient education programs, which helps them understand what community health is all about.
My desire to help others stems from my upbringing. I grew up poor and went on to be the first in my family to graduate from college. I learned early on that in order to be successful, I needed to have determination, perseverance and good mentors by my side that believed in me. Now it’s my turn to be that person who helps and encourages others to be the best they can be. Although I grew up in North Dakota, Tempe is now home. My wife Sally and I enjoy traveling, exercising and just hanging out with our dog, Chilibean.
I grew up in a neighborhood that was diverse, both ethnically and spiritually. My family is Italian and my parents taught me that it didn’t matter what your ethnic heritage, gender, religion or sexual orientation, if someone needed help, you helped. I follow this mantra to this day. My parents worked hard—two jobs—and tried to instill in my brother and I that by working hard and helping others, you will make a difference anywhere you go.
Serving on the Board of Directors is important to me because working with the staff at Mountain Park has shown me what a difference the organization makes in the community. From serving free breakfast and lunch in the summer, to encouraging a healthy lifestyle, they go beyond traditional healthcare.
My wife and I have been married for more than 30 years. We have a Pitbull/Boxer mix named Louie. I am a small business owner of a picture framing business. I’m a huge advocate for independent and locally owned businesses. In my free time, when I’m not working, I really enjoy playing ice hockey, riding my motorcycle and collecting various sports memorabilia.
As a single mom, a social worker, community advocate and patient, I bring a unique perspective to the Mountain Park Board of Directors. I’m proud to be a part of this community and be able to advocate for social justice and access to affordable, high-quality care.
For more than 15 years, I have worked and built relationships with individuals from a variety of sectors, diverse communities and socio-economic levels. I love connecting people and leveraging community resources to meet the needs of local citizens. I spend my life working intimately in the community and giving voice to those who need us most.
I am blessed to have the love and support of my family, the entire community, and my pup Buki. My son, Sam, motivates me to be the best I can be every day of my life. When I’m not working or being involved in community events, I enjoy spending my time outdoors. I practice yoga and love going to live concerts. I also donate a lot of my time by volunteering with local organizations that promote justice and human rights, as well as chairing my neighborhood association.